After a long search process, the City of Kajaani chose as the location for the new Water Sports Center an area along the Kajaaninjoki River, across from the market square, in the immediate vicinity of the city center. The Kaukametsä Culture Center and Scandic Hotel were already situated in the area. An underground passageway connects the Water Sports Center to both of these.
The Kaukametsä Culture Center was built on the basis of an architectural competition, and it is protected as a valuable building site. Thus, the requirements of the construction site—namely the valuable cultural surroundings, integration with the existing buildings, and the limited space of the construction site—placed major challenges on the design work.
The single-story entrance side of the new Water Sports Center is connected to the Culture Center’s square, and the side facing the river is two stories high. The entrance floor contains only ticket sales, a coffee shop, a fitness room, and meeting facilities. The glass wall of the coffee shop provides a magnificent view of the pool area, the riverfront and the city. The actual pool area is on the lower floor at the level of the river. The pool area opens onto a sunny terrace and courtyard. The high walls of the pool area face the river and the city on the opposite bank. The windows on the end of the pool area facing southwest are partly covered by a sunshield grate.
The Water Sports Center contains a variety of swimming options:
a 50-meter pool, a teaching pool, a diving pool, a children’s pool, and a separate room containing a heated pool with massaging showers and both cold and hot water pools.
The shape of the Water Sports Center is plain and simplified and follows the existing coordinates. The facades of the building are mostly white plastered brick. The long glass wall of the pool area is an exception; its solid parts are faced with patinated copper sheeting and colored fiber cement sheeting.
Paavo Karjalainen, architect SAFA
Object: Kajaani Water Sports Center
Location: Kajaani, Finland
Construction year: 2013
Architect: Arkkitehtitoimisto Arktes Oy
Fabricator: Oumet Oy
Proprietor: Kajaani City
Facades: Sapa 4150 with Add
Solar Shading: Sapa 4550 Wing 300
Window: Sapa 1074
Doors: Sapa 2050 and 2074
Surface finish: Powder coating RAL 7039 and 7045
Photography: Pekka Agarth